Promoting Health: Public Health’s Return to Local Authorities: 4 Years on

July 4th 2017, Leeds Beckett University

The IHPE  Conference took place successfully and many positive responses were forthcoming from delegates. We had an excellent panel of speakers whose contributions were stimulating and complemented each other very effectively. Over the lunch period there was an opportunity to view and discuss the interesting poster presentations.

The Institute would like to record its thanks to the Health Promotion Group and School of Health and Community Studies, Leeds Beckett University, for generously making the venue available and to Taylor and Francis for the financial support.  There will a report on the Conference in the forthcoming IHPE Newsletter.

The powerpoint presentations from the speakers and poster presentations will be posted on this site, as they become available, until the end of July, (see below).



Speaker Presentations:

Penny Spring, Director of Public Health North Lincolnshire.

The difference that makes a difference – reflections of a jobbing DPH’. (Click here to view the presentation slides.)


Professor Jane South, Leeds Beckett University and Public Health England.

People, place and power – where now for public health?’ (Click here to view the presentation slides.)


Isabella Goldie, Director of Development and Delivery, Mental Health Foundation.    

A call to action – addressing the social determinants of mental health’(Click here to view the presentation slides.)


Sheila  Merrill, Public Health Advisor  RoSPA.

‘Translating home accident statistics into action’.  (Click here to view the presentation slides.)


Mary Dawson, HENRY Regional Manager (North)

An evidence based approach to tackling obesity in the early years’. (Click here to view the presentation slides.)


Gary Bickerstaffe, Health Improvement Specialist, Public Health Bolton Council

The whole hospital food and drink environment’ (Click here to download the presentation slides.)


Poster Presentations:

‘Devices and apps and other distractions; young people’s perceptions of sleep’. (Click here to view the poster.)

Sarah Godsell, Public Health and Wellbeing Partnership Officer, South Gloucestershire Council


‘Childhood Obesity and the Built Environment’. (Click here to view the poster.)

Sally Leach, University of Greenwich


‘Local Authority Declaration on Healthy Weight’.(Click here to view the poster.)

Food Active


‘Aspirations For Community Gardening’.  (Click here to view the poster.)

Amir Raki and Dr Mags Adams, School of Environment and Life Science, University of Salford (UK)


Penny Spring – Director of Public Health, North Lincolnshire

Penny has been the Director of Public Health in Northumberland since 2014. Following a 2016 tour of the country to meet local authorities and gain a fuller understanding of the issues affecting local Public Health services Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England, described Northumberland County Council’s approach to public health as exceptional. ‘There is a lot to be proud of and lots to do but the team here is exceptional and I’m delighted to have been able to spend some time here and to see what has been done and is still being done in Northumberland’.  Penny herself has said: ‘As the largest and most rural county in England, we face many challenges and working together with community groups is an essential part of our goal to improve health outcomes and reduce inequalities’.



Professor Jane South – Leeds Beckett University and Public Health England

Jane is Professor of Healthy Communities in the School of Health & Community Studies at Leeds Beckett University. She is also seconded to Public Health England in a national advisory role and authored the recent PHE and NHS England guide to community centred approaches for health and wellbeing. In 2015, she became a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health through Distinction. In her university role, Jane was the Director of the Centre for Health Promotion Research from 2006-13, where she built an extensive portfolio of research and public engagement activity including two National Institute for Health Research studies on lay and peer interventions.

Jane has worked on various collaborative projects with both Leeds and Wakefield councils and set up an innovative Community-Campus Partnership for Health at her university.



Mary Dawson –  HENRY Regional Manager (North)

Mary began her career as a volunteer with Voluntary Services Overseas. Following a two year posting to North East China, she has focused on working in charities that improve the lives of children and young people in the UK and abroad. Mary is a skilled project manager with experience of developing a range of national and international programmes while working for organisations including Link Community Development, the National Deaf Children’s Society and as CEO for Springboard for Children. Mary joined HENRY in August 2016 in the new role of Regional Manager (North) where she works to grow and develop HENRY across the North of England.




Sheila Merrill – Public Health Adviser, RoSPA

Sheila has worked for RoSPA since 1989 and currently holds the position of Public Health Adviser within the Strategic Partnerships Division. She manages a team of five (which can fluctuate) depending on the delivery of various contracts.  Sheila is responsible for the development and delivery of RoSPA’s strategic plans for Public Health and Home Safety, taking a lead role in working with Government Departments in developing policy and responding to Government consultations. Sheila maintains a UK wide consistent approach to all home safety aspects including policy innovation, the provision of technical expertise, the identification of best practice, website content and media work in relation to home safety. She also has responsibility for grant negotiations with government departments up to ministerial level and research and maintenance of other income streams in order to sustain the delivery of the Home Safety service.



Gary Bickerstaffe – Health Improvement Specialist Public Health Bolton Council

Gary joined the fledgling NHS Smoking Cessation as a smoking cessation advisor in 2000 before moving into a more specialist role in secondary care working with the local hospital to develop pre-operative interventions around smoking cessation.  He also led on the development of an inpatient smoking cessation pathway which received national recognition as a complete admission to discharge pathway offering the same amount of individual cessation support as people in the community. In 2014 the pathway won the BMJ cancer care award.

He has also developed a holistic screening assessment and referral tool which includes alcohol, diet, weight, physical activity, sexual and mental health. The hospital is now able to refer patients for support for the majority of these lifestyle topics. Gary has worked on two pieces of national NICE guidance as a guidance group member and also sat on the NICE Local Government Reference Group.

He has led on some significant changes to the food and drink on offer within the local hospital and has worked with PHE and the DoH disseminating the learning from this work. He was also a member of the Department of Health Expert Panel which produced the national Food Hospital Standards in 2014. He currently works to a varied remit of Public Health topics



Isabella Goldie – Director of Development and Delivery, Mental Health Foundation

During her time at the Mental Health Foundation Isabella has developed a range of research and service improvement projects. On joining the Mental Health Foundation she headed up work in Scotland and worked extensively on Scottish mental health policy. Key areas of interest included later life, refugees, asylum seekers and the role of the arts in reducing stigma and discrimination. She has a masters in public mental health and is a registered mental health nurse. Isabella is Chair of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival and has contributed to a number of publications including: Public Mental Health: A Handbook. Isabella enjoys mindfulness, meditation and music